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MDNR confirms cougar in Menominee

Discussion in 'Michigan Non-Game Animals, Plants, and Scenery' started by upmounty, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. upmounty


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    Chippewa County
    this is a follow up post to the EUP Cougar thread. I mentioned that the MDNR did confirm a cougar getting hit by a car in Menominee County a few years ago. I asked Krsitie if she could find the article but I actually found one online. Here it is

    Cougar Network News, 2/18/05
    The MDNR has announced that hair samples retrieved from a car bumper last November came from a cougar. The hairs were retrieved by a state trooper after
    a motorist reported hitting "a large cat".

    After collecting the hairs, the trooper turned them over to biologists at the DNR's Escanaba field office. The samples were forwarded to the Wildlife Division's
    pathology lab and then sent to Central Michigan University for analysis. The lab did not test for genotype (North vs. South American).

    The incident occurred in southern Menominee County, not far from the Wisconsin border.

    "This is exactly the kind of information we are looking for to gain a better understanding of what animals are present in Michigan and identify potential areas

    for additional work," said DNR Natural Heritage Unit Supervisor Ray Rustem. "Though the information indicates the presence of a cougar, it still does not confirm
    the presence of a breeding population in Michigan."

    The DNR encourages hunters and outdoor recreationists to report any sightings of lynx, cougars, moose and wolves using the online wildlife
    observation report system on the DNR Web site at Click on Wildlife and Habitat and select the Report Wildlife Observations link.

    The Cougar Network is indebted to Ray Rustem of the Michigan DNR for providing us with the documentation behind this report (Accident report & DNA test results).
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2015
  2. solohunter


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    You have no clue how many bowls of wheaties you just peed in :tsk::tsk:

    I thought they had confirmed one also hit and killed in kalkaska county years back but I was unable to find any documentation on it, If i remember correctly they wrote it off as an escaped "pet"....
    thanks for the post,,

  3. no thyme

    no thyme

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    knock knock!!! whos there? MODS!!! mods,who? mods need 2 close this!!!!! and ban all cat talk till , someone in this state proves it!
    why not a forum on bigfoot and chupacabra sightings! anything but cougars!!!:)
  4. solohunter


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    see what I mean about the wheaties???:D:D

    Oh the mods are involved in most of the threads on cougars,,, :yikes::yikes:
  5. N.E. Outdoorsman

    N.E. Outdoorsman Premium Member

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    Glennie, MI
    I think some folks simply refuse to believe that these animals could be here. Maybe their afraid. Maybe the thought of a potential food chain trump is too much to cope with. I don't know.

    I was a skeptic (never a critic) before I saw one in Oscoda last month.

    I can tell you first hand, that at least one is around. Could be a pet. Could be wild. Don't care. I saw it!
  6. Oldgrandman

    Oldgrandman Woods and Water Rat Premium Member

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    Up on Cripple Creek
    I remember this report and thought it was widely known about. All kidding aside, it is too easy to say it is not really enough proof but you have to admit it is hard to discount. A body or two sure would help though....
    I say it is definitely possible we have some, especially after that wolf that was found hit by a car (in Missouri?) radio collared from Michigan so animals do travel long distances, but there was a body there.....if I remember that story right.
  7. solohunter


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    when they quite laughing a couple of finlanders will admit to tossing a road kill wolf on top a semi bound for the southlands,, seems the wolf swelled up and rolled off in missouri,,,, It wasnt one of the kangas, or jarvi,s i dont think :) other than that senator I have no independant recollection of any thing relating to this matter, do you have any pictures, videos or documents to refresh my memory with?? LMAO!!!
  8. solohunter


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    Here ya go,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Nov. 4, 2009

    Contact: Kristie Sitar, 906-293-5131, Debbie Munson Badini,
    906-226-1352 or Mary Dettloff 517-335-3014

    DNR Verifies Cougar Tracks, Confirms Location of Trail Camera Photo in
    Eastern Upper Peninsula

    The Department of Natural Resources today announced it has verified two
    sets of cougar tracks and confirmed the location of a cougar photo in
    the eastern Upper Peninsula. The tracks were discovered in the DeTour
    and Gulliver areas, while the photo was taken near Bruce Township.

    On Oct. 26, DNR Wildlife Biologist Dave Jentoft received a call late in
    the day at the Shingleton Field Office reporting tracks that looked like
    cougar prints near DeTour. The caller was instructed to cover the tracks
    to protect them from the elements, and Jentoft was able to respond the
    next day to take photographs, measure the tracks and conduct a field
    investigation. The information Jentoft collected was shared with the
    DNR's trained cougar team, and the consensus was reached that the tracks
    appear to have been made by a cougar.

    On Nov. 2, DNR Wildlife Biologist Terry Minzey was contacted by a
    private landowner near Gulliver who reported finding large tracks that
    he thought may be from a cougar. DNR biologists Kristie Sitar and Kevin
    Swanson investigated the site with Minzey, taking measurements, photos
    and plaster casts of the tracks. In conjunction with the DNR's
    specially-trained cougar team, it was determined that the tracks are
    from a cougar.

    "These are the first confirmed cougar tracks in the eastern Upper
    Peninsula, and we appreciate the cooperation of the callers who reported
    the tracks and worked to keep them covered until we could respond to the
    scene," said Sitar, who is a member of the DNR’s cougar team. "Other
    landowners who believe they have evidence of a cougar on their property,
    such as tracks or a kill site, are encouraged to contact their local DNR
    field office as soon as possible, which allows staff to investigate
    before the evidence is compromised. Without good evidence, like what we
    had in these two cases, verification becomes increasingly difficult."

    The cougar photograph, taken by a trail camera on private property near
    Bruce Township in mid-October, has been under investigation by wildlife
    staff since Oct. 22. The photo shows a cougar at night walking through a
    food plot. Though there was no doubt the photo depicted a cougar, the
    location where the photo was taken was not accessible to DNR staff for
    on-site inspection until Nov. 2. At that time, a field investigation by
    Jentoft and DNR Wildlife Technician Tim Maples made it possible to
    verify the location by comparing camera angles and vegetation markers at
    the site, allowing wildlife officials to confirm the photo was taken at
    that spot.

    Cougars, also known as mountain lions, originally were native to
    Michigan but were thought to have been extirpated around the turn of the
    last century. The last known wild cougar taken in Michigan was killed
    near Newberry in 1906. However, sightings are regularly reported and
    although verification is often difficult, the DNR was able to verify
    several sets of cougar tracks in Marquette and Delta counties in 2008.

    Established cougar populations are found as close to Michigan as North
    and South Dakota, and transient cougars dispersing from these areas have
    been known to travel hundreds of miles in search of new territory.
    Characteristic evidence of cougars include tracks, which are about three
    inches long by three and a half inches wide and typically show no claw
    marks, or suspicious kill sites, such as deer carcasses that are largely
    intact and have been buried with sticks and debris.

    Reports of cougar tracks and other evidence should be made to a local
    DNR office or by calling the department's 24-hour Report All Poaching
    line at 800-292-7800. If a citizen comes into contact with a cougar, the
    following behavior is recommended:

    - Stop, stand tall, pick up small children and do not run. A cougar's
    instinct is to chase.

    - Do not approach the animal.

    - Try to appear larger than the cougar. Never take your eyes off the
    animal or turn your back. Do not crouch down or try to hide.

    - If the animal displays aggressive behavior, shout, wave your arms and
    throw rocks. The idea is to convince the cougar that you are not prey,
    but a potential danger.

    - If a cougar attacks, fight back aggressively and try to stay on your
    feet. Do not play dead. Cougars have been driven away by people who have
    fought back.

    Cougars are classified as an endangered species in Michigan. It is
    unlawful to kill, harass or otherwise harm a cougar except in the
    immediate defense of human life. For more information about the recent
    cougar tracks and photo, call Sitar at 906-293-5131. To learn more about
    cougars and how to identify their tracks, go online to and click on Wildlife and Habitat.

    The DNR is committed to the conservation, protection, management,
    accessible use and enjoyment of the State’s natural resources for
    current and future generations.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2015
  9. Oldgrandman

    Oldgrandman Woods and Water Rat Premium Member

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    Up on Cripple Creek
    Yeah, I just made it all up.... :dizzy:
    Well if you want to believe it or not it is up to you, but it was reported and documented....I did have the story just a tad off, I will admit. It was killed by someone with a bow and arrow, not a car.
    This is what I found on the WWW

    See page 16 on this document.....

    You OK with this as proof? I could probably dig up more but the state document should be enough. ;)
  10. solohunter


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    I worked with the guys from the UP guard units at camp grayling all summer in 92-93-94,,,
    they hate wolves and made no bones about getting rid of them, road kill or otherwise, Including tossing them on semi,s leaving the mills.

    lest we forget the one that the collar went dead on and three years or so later got trapped and killed in presque isle county in the lower?
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009